5-year-old allegedly forced by teacher to eat bagel from trash

Keemon Febry with his daughter, Ke'Nya Febry, on the swings at a park in Rosenhayn Thursday October 11, 2012 (Cathy Cramer/South Jersey Times)

Keemon Febry with his daughter, Ke'Nya Febry, on the swings at a park in Rosenhayn Thursday October 11, 2012 (Cathy Cramer/South Jersey Times)

A South Jersey kindergartner is having nightmares after her teacher allegedly forced her to eat a bagel from the trash.

The South Jersey Times reports that 5-year-old Ke’Nya Febry, who attends Deerfield Township Elementary School and participates in its free lunch program for low-income students, didn’t like the bagel and threw it away. Febry’s mother, Kandice Taylor, says the teacher then took the bagel from the trash can and made Ke’Nya eat it in front of her classmates.

Her mother first learned of the incident when Ke’Nya returned home that day. She immediately reported it to the school’s superintendent.

“The teacher admitted it to me right away in front of the superintendent,” Taylor said. “The teacher told me that she wouldn’t have had a problem eating the bagel. She also refused to apologize. It wasn’t until I threatened to file a police report, hire an attorney and go to The News that the superintendent offered an apology.”

“There was absolutely no sign of remorse from the teacher,” Tayl0r added. According to her, the teacher was unapologetic because there was only paper in the trash can.

Taylor has since contacted the state police and filed a report. Upon reviewing the case, the police determined it was a school administrative issue, “not a criminal matter.”

But Taylor claims the school is not cooperating even though she leaves phone messages there every day.

School Board President William Miller says he is handling the situation delicately, to ensure everyone is being fairly represented.

“To my knowledge, the situation is being investigated and the school’s attorney is looking into the matter,” Miller said. “Interviews are being conducted and the attorney is finding out what legal procedures need to be followed. We can only wait and see what comes out of the preliminary investigation.

In the midst of all this, Ke’Nya is currently not attending the school.

“Because of the investigation, I don’t want her going back to school until things have been resolved,” Taylor said. “She’s is humiliated. She is so embarrassed. I am bringing her to a psychologist next week because of all this.”

Miller says the kindergartner’s absence concerns him but he can’t comment further on the situation until “everything has been brought to light.”

“I’m not going to stop,” Taylor said. “This is not just about my daughter, this is about others also. From what I understand, Ke’Nya isn’t the only one who has had a problem with school staff. She’s being treated like a dog … like an animal, and I am not going to let this happen to my daughter anymore.”

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